August 2015 Newsletter, Volume 94

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. UP IN THE MILLIONS

Accessibility, Design & Technology celebrated the AO3’s first 15 million page-view day in August. They also partied hard over their new web development environments and started preparing their move to new servers that can better handle all the visitors! None of this could have been done without the hard work and commitment of the Systems team, and their joint staffer james_ especially.

Accessibility, Design & Technology has also been working on moving to a new issue tracker, now that Google Code has entered read-only mode, with a shutdown date scheduled for later this year. After exploring a number of options and cleaning up their current collection of bug reports and to-dos, the committee settled on JIRA as the best fit for its needs. They have finished moving all their remaining issues and expect to get settled in and start updating their documentation.

Accessibility, Design & Technology has also been working with Tag Wrangling to address issues stemming from wrangling bugs and server hiccups, as tag wranglers migrated wrangling and tag-related items over to the new bug tracker and helped test how the servers handle heavy wrangling loads. Accessibility, Design & Technology will also be helping Abuse by providing better tools for their work. They hope to deploy new code very soon that is aimed at dealing with commercial spam and keeping harassment at bay.

II. PARTICIPATE!

Together with our partners in the Re:Create Coalition, Legal has proposed two panels for the 2016 South by Southwest conference. Find out more about them (and upvote us!) here: Copyright & Creators: 2026 (featuring Legal Chair Betsy) and Fair Use Awakens: Classrooms/Libraries/Communities (featuring Betsy and Legal Staffer Heidi). You can also find out more about Heidi’s other proposed panels and suggestions.

In August, Legal helped several fans, from several countries, with legal questions about copyright law, plagiarism, and fair use. They also successfully corresponded with the maker of an unauthorized Android app for reading on AO3. The app maker agreed to change the name of the app and make it clear in all promotions that it is unauthorized and unrelated to the OTW and that the OTW doesn’t provide support for it. Legal also took action regarding another unauthorized widget for Android that used the AO3 trademark in a confusing manner. Please be aware that the AO3 does not have an official app.

South Africa is considering adopting a fair use provision in its copyright law. Fair use supporters are trying to make sure that the law actually protects fair use, and Legal is preparing to file a supporting comment. We need your help signal-boosting our request for stories from South African fans about how they’ve benefited from making and/or consuming fanworks. Please send your stories to our Legal committee. The last time we did this, for the US, the stories were amazing.

Journal is currently in production for its No. 20 issue, and hopes to begin training new production personnel soon from August’s recruitment. Communications‘ media outreach team has been soliciting and organising guest posts for coming months. It also continued its efforts for the upcoming 20th issue celebration for Transformative Works and Cultures. Help us spread the word!

Translation received several dozen applications from potential future translators, and committee members are working incredibly hard processing translation samples, wrangling timezones, and interviewing applicants. Two new language teams have started work this month—Marathi and Slovenian!

Wiki was busy preparing for the kickoff of Stub September, and hopes that everyone will join in to help flesh out entries on Fanlore.

III. AT THE AO3

Abuse had over 500 tickets in August. Please be patient if it takes a bit of time for them to get back to you on a ticket!

Support is on track to receive approximately 680 tickets in August. Overall they’re averaging 724 tickets a month this year, compared to 495 last year. Support has been managing with only eight staffers, so they’re very happy to have six new volunteers currently in training!

Open Doors has been chugging away on in-progress archive imports and announced plans to work with the Seamus/Dean Forever Archive to bring it to AO3.

Tag Wrangling held an informal training chat to welcome the newest class of wranglers to the fold after finishing another round of recruitment. Additionally, they began holding discussions to update and improve the wrangling guidelines. Wranglers also assisted one another with tag translations and responded to several requests from Support as well as their twitter feed.

AO3 Documentation has three documents in the external betaing phase, which were recently sent to other committees for comments and edits.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Board has been in consultation, primarily with Legal, regarding potential changes to the OTW bylaws. At the August 8th meeting, Board voted to approve a change which would make it easier for Board members to be removed from office, when appropriate. Board is also considering a further change to the bylaws surrounding elections. In addition, the Board is considering making changes to the size of the Board. A few years ago, the Board complement was increased to 9 members in order to assist in shouldering the workload that came with the committee liaison system. Now that the OTW is moving towards phasing out the liaison system, Board is proposing to reduce the size of the board to 7 members once again. It is hoped that this will lead to contested elections taking place for the first time since 2011.

Plans and logistics for the 2015 Annual Meeting are in the process of being finalized with Board responding to requests from various committees.

Strategic Planning will be publishing the 3rd and semi-final version of the OTW strategic plan for internal review in the first week of September. This was the result of in-depth work with Volunteers & Recruiting, Internationalization & Outreach and Board.

Internationalization & Outreach worked on processing the internal feedback received on a plan that it developed to promote inclusivity and internationalization within the OTW. They also interviewed candidates and welcomed three new staffers to their team.

Development & Membership is finalizing drive posts, so they can get them off to our hardworking Translation volunteers. The drive will be held on October 7–13 this year. They are also hoping to have some good news on the merchandise store to share with you soon!

Elections posted an internal call for candidacy, with a deadline of September 11. Interested members can check out the elections timeline for more information. They also posted their Confidentiality Policy. The Elections Twitter account is now actively tweeting links to various resources on the Elections website.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting recruited for three roles in August: Journal Staff – Production Assistant, Journal Volunteers – Layout Editor, and Translation volunteers. Among the three roles, the team received 100 total applications! The OTW will be recruiting three more times before the end of the year—twice in September and once in October.

The committee said goodbye to two of its staffers and published an internal report for the second quarter of 2015. The committee is finalizing the Still Willing to Serve survey, which is sent to all current staff and workgroup volunteers to check in and confirm that they would like to remain in their current roles. Volunteers & Recruiting is also continuing to refine their workflow processes with a tool to track requests from others in the organization.

New Committee Chairs: Trey C (Translation), Claire P. Baker (AO3 Documentation)
New Committee Staff: Zsuzsa Gábor (Translation), Seamus Johnston (Systems), Laura Hancock (Internationalization & Outreach) and 1 other Internationalization & Outreach
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Amariel, Apollonie, Arc, Asante Simons, ashto, Charlie Hale, Chelsea Eidbo, chrishuyen, dungbombs, Effy, Em S, Emily D, eternaldissident, Hannah Overstreet, Jane, Jay, Katiana, LeaneGenova, Lisa Stempel, mechanicaljewel, Merchant, mustachenow, Onyi, originally, P-Ys, pearwaldorf, regentzilla, Schrodingerscat, Suicix, TheAlternativeSource, Violet, Viva Hoh, Wond3rland, Yasemin Celebi, Yrindor and 1 other
New Translator Volunteers: Tina, Nele Noppe, Mel and 1 other

Departing Committee Staff: LokiMoriarty (Abuse), Kalli (Legal), C. Ryan Smith (Volunteers & Recruiting), Anna Maraya (Volunteers & Recruiting), 2 other Abuse, 1 Support, 1 Tag Wrangling, 1 other Volunteers & Recruiting
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: BlackParadise, Matty Lynne and 12 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: Celine, regenorakel, Charlotte, Agnieszka Barcik, Rizu and 6 others

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.